Democrats from one Boise legislative district have submitted three names to Gov. Brad Little, who will soon appoint the replacement of Idaho’s outgoing House minority leader.
Lauren Necochea is District 19’s top choice to replace former state Rep. Mat Erpelding, who stepped down to become a lobbyist for Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce this month.
Necochea is currently the director of Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy and Idaho Voices for Children. She has extensive experience with healthcare policy and evaluating anti-poverty programs in the U.S. and abroad.
She was also a registered Republican until earlier this month in order to vote in that party’s primaries “where I saw a serious threat to Idaho in the form of radical Republican candidates — in particular candidates who could block Medicaid expansion and lifesaving care for thousands of Idahoans.”
The Idaho GOP requires anyone voting in party primaries to be a registered Republican, while registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters can cast ballots in Idaho Democratic Party primaries.
She said District 19 officials knew about her prior affiliation.
Coast Guard veteran Chris Mathias is the district’s second choice. He previously led academic programs for the Idaho State Board of Education and now works for UC Santa Cruz.
And Charlene Taylor rounds out the list at number three. Taylor is a criminal justice researcher and was previously a professor at Boise State University where she taught classes on gangs, drugs and crime.
Gov. Little will have until Jan. 2 to appoint one of these three Democrats to serve out the rest of Erpelding’s term. The seat will be up for re-election next November.
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